Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Dumbledore’s Army - Things Fall Apart; The Centre Cannot Hold

When Mick Mulvaney was selected to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) he complemented the staff for being very professional.  There are a significant number of CFPB employees who are opposed to the president and any of his appointees.  They have formed a resistance group they call Dumbledore’s Army.  Although members of other departments, agencies and bureaus do not call themselves Dumbledore’s Army they are essentially of the same mindset.  Perhaps the largest number of these Dumbledores are in the Department of Justice and the intelligence community.  They are mounting an attack on the Trump administration and are suffering one defeat after another.  Things are falling apart.

The major attack is being carried out by Robert Mueller, the Independent Counsel.  Several of the attorneys on Mueller’s team have collectively given over $62,000 in political contributions to Democrats.  These are the contributions that we know of.  Three of his attorneys have reportedly been removed for anti-Trump bias.  But as Rep. Jim Jordan said, "If you get kicked off the Mueller team for being anti-Trump, there wouldn't be anybody left on the Mueller team. There has to be more.”  This says a lot about the independence of the Independent Counsel.

The most significant removal was that of Peter Strzok and his paramour Lisa Page.  Strzok was Mueller’s second in command.  He was one of the officials who interviewed Hillary Clinton.  He helped lead the investigation into Clinton’s private server clearing her.  He reviewed 50,000 Hillary Clinton State Department emails on Anthony Weiner’s computer and cleared the Weiner-Huma Abedin emails in record time just days before the 2016 election.  Again he found nothing incriminating.  He was the lead FBI investigator in Comey’s Trump Russia investigation.  He played a key role in agreeing to pay Christopher Steele $50,000 to find evidence to support the dossier’s claims.  Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) believes it may have been Strzok who brought the infamous Trump dossier to a FISA court to obtain clearance for surveillance on members of the Trump campaign.  Strzok edited the FBI’s judgment of Mrs. Clinton’s handling of her emails to “extremely careless” from “grossly negligent” as it was described in a previous draft.  He also oversaw the bureau’s interviews with ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Lisa Page, an FBI attorney, was also removed from Mueller’s team.  Her correspondence with Strzok contained such suggestions as “Trump should go f himself.”  On Oct. 20, 2016, Strzok called Trump a “f*cking idiot.”  More than 10,000 texts between Strzok and Page were reviewed by the Justice Department.  375 of them were released on 12 December.  The existence of the texts was not disclosed until nearly four months after Strzok was removed.  The emails are extremely damaging.  One of Strzok’s emails reads, “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office.”  Andy is most likely Andrew McCabe.  In which case it appears that they were plotting against President Trump with the Deputy FBI Director.  Every federal employee knows that emails are subject to monitoring.  This is an example of extremely poor judgment.  Perhaps they believed that if they were monitored the monitor would have similar views and would not reveal their content.  They were obviously wrong.  They should know that there are moles even within Dumbledore’s Army willing to leak information damaging to the resistance’s cause.   Andrew McCabe postponed an appearance before the House Intelligence Committee that was scheduled for 12th.  The Justice Department claimed the cancellation was due to a “routine scheduling error.”

The next significant removal is that of former Assoc. Deputy Attorney General Bruce G Ohr.  Ohr had several meetings with Christopher Steele, the author of the “dossier,” and Glenn Simpson, the founder of Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm.  His wife Nellie H. Ohr worked for Fusion GPS and may have worked on the “dossier.”  Ohr reportedly did not reveal his October 2016 contacts with Steele or Simpson to DOJ leadership.  We are supposed to believe that Rod Rosenstein, the Deputy Attorney General, knew nothing about the activities of Strzok and Ohr.  If this is the case Rosenstein has no business supervising people in the intelligence business.

Much of the information we have about this situation is the result of leaks.  Leaks have plagued the DOJ for well over a year.  Many of these leaks are clearly felonies.  The former head of the FBI admitted in public that he was the source of a leak.  Has anyone in the leadership been prosecuted for leaking to the press?  The answer to this question is no.  No one in the intelligence community can claim that they are unable to identify the leakers.  These leaks can be traced.  At the same time the leadership of the intelligence community is denying information requested by Congress.  Representative Nunes has instructed his staff to draft contempt-of-Congress citations against Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray.  Wray, appointed by President Trump, appears to have joined Dumbledore’s Army.   His response to a question about the Clinton email scandal he responded: “I think of the Inspector General’s investigation as de novo in one sense, in which that it’s objective, arms length, no skin in the game, if you will. But you’re right, the Inspector General is not second guessing prosecutorial decisions and things like that. However, the Inspector General is looking at the very important question of whether or not improper political considerations factored into the decision making. If he were to conclude that’s what happened, then I think at that point were we’re in a situation were we have to assess what else might need to be done to unring that bell.”  Either this is an example of intentional obfuscation or Mr. Wray is an extremely confused individual.  

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